G. P. Keairnes
G. P. Keairnes, who is recognized as one of the prominent and successful farmers of Union township, was born in Shelby county, November 20th, 1862, a son of Wilson and Sarah (Parks) Keairnes, both of whom were natives of Virginia.
The father came to Iowa in 1852, locating in Grove township, Shelby county, where he obtained land from the government and erected thereon a log house. This was a unique performance in those days and the ceremonies attending the "log-raising," as it was termed, were witnessed by every man in the county, fifteen in number. He remained at that location until 1904, when he removed to Dunlap and has since continued to reside in that city.
Fifteen children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Keairnes, of whom the following eleven survive: Elizabeth, who became the wife of A. Beedle and resides in Harrison county, Iowa; Julia, who lies at home in Dunlap; William, who resides in Shelby county; Sarah, who is the widow of George B. Runnels and makes her home in Shelby county; Harry, who is on a claim in South Dakota; M. W., who lives in Grove township, Shelby county; Edward, who is farming in the Dakotas; Jeannette, who is the wife of S. H. Buchter and resides in Plymouth county, Iowa; G. P., of this review; Mary, who married Thomas Woren, of Chicago, Illinois; and Martha, who became the wife of William Hammer, of Harrison county, Iowa. The mother departed this life in 1906 and is interred in the Dunlap cemetery.
G. P. Keairnes obtained his elementary education in the district schools of Shelby county and remained under the parental roof until he was twenty-three years old, when he began farming upon his own responsibility. He rented land in Shelby county and there labored in the fields for eight years, after which he purchased land in the same locality and continued to operate this until 1901. In that year he disposed of his property and removed to Washington township, Crawford county, remaining there for four years and then coming to Union township. where he has since continued to reside. He devotes his entire time and attention to general farming on an extensive scale, his farm property in that township comprising four hundred and twenty acres, besides which he is the owner of one hundred and twenty acres in Shelby county.
In 1891 Mr. Keairnes was united in marriage to Miss Viola S. Cross, a native of Shelby county, and unto them nine children have been born, including: John W., Mary H., Ward, Lloyd V., Ruby L., William V., Sarah S. and Elsie Mabel. Two are now deceased, William V. having died May 2, 1911.
The political support of Mr. Keairnes has always been given to the republican party and in religion both he and his wife follow the precepts of the Latter Day Saints. Since his residence in Crawford county he has been considered an important factor in advancing the agricultural interests of Union township, where he has a wide circle of friends, in whose esteem he holds a high place.
Source: History of Crawford County, Iowa. Vol. II. Chicago: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1911.